Doing the Dirty Work

We recently pulled together a bunch of mini-essays about port-a-potties, of all things. I had fun writing the intro (following):

I’m not sure how we did it. Somehow humanity built things for 10,000 years before George Harding received a patent for a plastic portable restroom in the 1960s—which ruins my vision of the Egyptians building the pyramids beside a desert sea of polyhedron Port-a-Pottys.

Today the P-a-P—200 pounds of awful, stinking, retchingly-effective convenience—is a modern day staple of construction sites, monster music festivals, and just about any other place where there’s some level ground and the need for people to take a dump without the trouble of, you know, plumbing.

There’s a price for such convenience, and it’s paid most often by our nose (the most-used deodorant in Port-a-Pottys is formaldehyde—yes, embalming fluid—try to forget that next time you pee into the shadowy hole) and our dignity.

But there is something about the Port-a-Potty, about being so close to our own (and others’) filth that makes it rich ground for stories. Funny stories, gross stories, put-in-my-place stories. Stories about how the things, and the lives, we try to keep clean have an ability, an aptitude really, for slipping from our hands and landing at the bottom of a tank filled with sopping paper, untold amounts of reeking crap, and the occasional engagement ring.

What follows are 6 of the funniest, most-disgusting, most-real stories we could find. So hold your nose and read on. The guys with the hoses don’t come for another hour.

The Funniest, Dirtiest, Most Disgusting Port-a-Potty Stories Ever (

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